So, you’ve decided to automate the package management process at your building. Excellent decision — your staff and your residents will thank you for it!
Package management systems are relatively new, so there aren’t a large number of options, but there are a few. Here, we identify some of the features (and red flags) to look for when assessing package management systems and explore what makes Smiota stand out.
Package management systems: What to look for, what to look out for
Package management systems save your staff time and your building money. They also add value and allure to your property, which will help you attract new tenants (especially Millennials).
But not all systems are created equal.
In a previous article, we reviewed the factors to consider when choosing a package management system. Here are a few of the most important things to look for and to look out for.
What to look for
- Ease of use. The whole point of a package management system is to make handling deliveries as easy as possible for both your staff and your residents. So, make sure you choose a system that’s easy to use right out of the box. If it has a steep learning curve, you might end up with residents who need assistance every time they receive a package.
- Flexibility. Do your residents receive a lot of groceries or oversized packages? Do they send their laundry out, so they need spaces to accommodate clothes on hangers? The system you choose should be flexible and customizable for your needs now and into the future.
- Robust reporting. How long do residents usually take to pick up their packages? Do you need more small lockers, or more refrigerated lockers? A robust reporting tool will help you answer these questions so you can make data-driven decisions for your community.
What to look out for
- Extra charges to end users. Will your residents be charged to set up their account? What about for leaving their packages in the lockers too long? Some systems automatically impose these charges (it’s one way they make money). At Smiota, we let you decide whether or not to charge your residents extra to use the lockers.
- Lack of technology integrations. Part of the allure of emerging technology is how it all works together — think of how Apple devices all seamlessly intertwine. Some package management solution providers haven’t taken advantage of the opportunity to integrate their software with user devices, for example, via a smartphone app.
The Smiota Solution
It’s our mission to make managing your packages easier, faster, and more secure. We’ve worked hard (and we continue to work) to make the Smiota package management solution the best one available.
Smiota currently offers smart lockers and mailroom software packed with user-friendly features including an iOS and Android app. Read on to learn more about our solutions and how they can benefit you.
“By installing Smiota PoDs at 9 dorms and using Smiota Mailroom app, UNLV is saving thousands yearly and has made the package experience for students and staff exceptional!”
Smart Lockers — Smiota PoDs
Smart lockers are the stars of modern package management systems. This is due to three main things:
- They completely automate the package delivery process.
- They’re secure.
- They give residents 24/7 access to their packages.
Couriers can quickly access lockers by scanning a QR code or entering a pin. To choose a recipient and drop off a package, they search the resident database, choose which size locker they need, and pop the delivery in. They can be on their way in just minutes with full confidence the packages will make it to their intended recipients.
Once a package is safely in a locker, Smiota’s software automatically notifies the recipient via text or the Smiota app. To access the locker, the recipient clicks a button in the app or keys in their unique code. That means no more digging around in emails for confirmation codes.
Smiota’s main PoD unit has 13 lockers (five small, six medium, and two large) along with the built-in control center. There are several add-ons available to supplement the main unit:
- Additional standard unit: 12 doors with space for small, medium, and large packages
- Laundry lockers: Four doors designed for dry cleaning and other laundry service drop-offs
- Large lockers: Two doors for bigger packages (think bulk orders of paper products)
- Oversized lockers: One unit used for either extremely large packages or overflow if the other lockers are full
- Refrigerated and frozen lockers: Four- or eight-door temperature-controlled units
Chances are a few of your residents have already started using grocery or meal kit delivery services. While these services are wonderful for time-strapped folks and aspiring chefs, there is a downside: the subscribers have to be home when their kits are delivered. Otherwise, they run the risk of their food spoiling.
That’s where refrigerated lockers come into play. Instead of residents having to stay at home with phone in hand while they wait for their food delivery, refrigerated lockers offer them the freedom of flexibility. Frozen lockers are great for your staff as well because they don’t have to worry about food spoiling in the office.
Smiota’s refrigerated lockers are temperature-controlled and can be adjusted to accommodate frozen foods as well.
Your space is unique, and your lockers should be too. We can build a system customized for your layout, available space, and specific needs. PoDs don’t even have to be all lined up in a row. As long as your lockers are within WiFi or cellular network range of your main control PoD, they’ll work.
Smart lockers are convenient, safe, and a huge time saver, but they may not be right for your building. Even if you don’t have the space for lockers, you can still implement a safe, secure package management system for all deliveries using Smiota Mailroom.
Smiota Mailroom is a software that can turn any room into a secure package delivery center. All you need is a smartphone.
When a package comes in, just open up your smartphone and scan the recipient’s name and tracking barcode. Smiota Mailroom takes care of the rest in less than five seconds. No more recording deliveries manually!
Scan multiple packages
Did one of your residents go a little nuts on Cyber Monday? Using rapid entry mode, you can enter their name just once and quickly scan all of their packages in a fraction of the time it’d take you to record every one individually.
Complete chain of custody
Smiota Mailroom takes all the guesswork out of package delivery. It provides a complete chain of custody, including recipient signature. If a resident isn’t available to pick up their package, they can delegate someone else pick it up for them, and Smiota mailroom will track the entire transaction.
“Your team has been a pleasure to work with- you have created an amazing product for residential communities!”
The Smiota Delivery App
We want Smiota to be the most convenient way to deliver and pick up packages. That’s why we built an app to use with our PoDs lockers and Mailroom software. Available for iOS and Android, the Smiota Delivery App makes picking up packages as easy as checking your Facebook feed.
With the Smiota app, users to simply walk up to the locker bank, hit a button on their smartphone, and viola! The locker opens — no access code needed. They’ll also be able to see the full package history: who delivered it, when it was dropped off, and where it was picked up. No more guesswork for you or your residents!
Our powerful administration tools make it easy to know what’s going on in your building. With our customizable reports, you can:
- Track all deliveries
- Track package time in lockers from delivery to pickup
- Track delivery time from warehouse to lockers
This helps you make decisions about the future. For example, do you need more refrigerated lockers? Is it time to start charging that couple in Apartment 204 who always wait two weeks to pick up their packages?
In addition to creating reports, admins can open lockers, manage overdue packages, and more using the Smiota webapp or PoD tablet.
Smiota offers 24/7/365 remote support, completely eliminating the need to call someone on site for maintenance. Our technical staff can remotely troubleshoot any problems you may have, and our PoDs update automatically for any new software releases.
About Smiota’s creators
Smiota was created by a team of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs led by CEO Manju Kashi. The idea for the package delivery solution came to him after experiencing package theft at his own front door. He realized package exchanges had to be done safely and securely. Along with his team, he employed his business savvy and vision for the perfect package delivery system to bring Smiota from concept to product in less than two years.